Climbing in Kissimmee

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Visitors to Florida EcoSafaris get a close look at the state's distinct flora and fauna during thrilling outdoor adventures. The Coach Safari whisks riders on a two-hour open-air jaunt through a 4,700-acre wildlife-conservation area rich with streams and forests. Naturalist guides delve into the natural history of the region's nine ecosystems, which house species including alligators, Florida panthers, and herds of roving photo opportunities. Visitors can also take in sweeping views of the nearby wetlands and their many residents, including countless kinds of birds and white-tailed deer. For equestrian adventurers, safaris on horseback take riders through scenic trails used by Native Americans in the 1500s.

Florida EcoSafaris' EcoPark adds to its Cypress Canopy Cycle adventure-which sends visitors rolling along steel cables in a suspended, pedal-powered cart that doubles as a spy machine for squirrels-with five new and recently renovated zipline adventures. Guests fly high through the air at 30 miles per hour with the Peregrine Plunge and Zipline Safari or leap off 55- or 68-feet platforms during controlled-free-fall adventures. No matter what activity guests participate in, Florida EcoSafaris donates a portion of all proceeds to the Allen Broussard Conservancy, an agency dedicated to the preservation of Florida's ecosystems and wildlife.

4755 North Kenansville Road
St. Cloud,
FL
US

During the Superhero Scramble, racers of all fitness levels tear across arduous terrain littered with body- and mind-challenging obstacles. Participants must wade through mud and, to reach the finish line, persevere through a barrage of Super Slime generously donated by retired Ghostbusters.

Upon completing the race, athletes ride their endorphin high into a party stocked with ice-cold beer. There, they can mingle with other contestants, sway to live music, and see awards doled out to the fastest runners in each age bracket. Male and female Scramble Gamble contestants compete for prizes that can cover the cost of replacing the engines in their sneakers. The benefits of the race extend beyond the Gamble winners, too?the organizers donate a portion of the proceeds to charity.

17701 Old YMCA Rd.
Winter Garden,
FL
US

Concealed in the leafy canopy of the forest at the Central Florida Zoo, wires, rope bridges, and ziplines create intricate pathways amidst the treetops. Zoom Air Adventure Park's monkey architects designed courses to follow the natural flow of the area's existing terrain and plant life. While securely fastened to a safety line via a sturdy harness, visitors can swing, climb, and balance their way through dozens of obstacles while taking in views of the forest below. The grand finale: a zipline that soars through the air for about 500 feet. Safety is just as important to the experience as fun, and the adventure park's experienced operators keep an eye on guests to ensure that everyone is comfortable and secure.

3755 U.S. 17
Sanford,
FL
US

Airboat & Gator Charters’ expert swamponauts ably escort guests through the placid waters of central Florida’s most serene lakes and rivers. Customers can hop aboard a 425-horsepower Diamondback airboat for a 90-minute private tour, which offers the chance to glimpse wildlife including bald eagles, herons, red-tailed hawks, manatees, turtles, and alligators. The high-performance watercraft seats up to six and comes equipped with a USCG-licensed captain, who will harness the power of the boat’s Piratecom headsets to point out targets for your eyes, whether they're animal, plant, or the occasional plantanimal. The private tours are offered year-round and launch throughout the day, from sunrise to sunset. Choose to embark on a daytime trip, which features views of the American alligator’s daily tanning habits, or embark on the nighttime tour and hope for a rare sighting of the white-tailed deer’s annual sighting of its tail.

2368 Mullet Lake Park Road
Geneva,
FL
US

Overseeing 500 acres that encompass hills, swamp, and forest, the adventure enthusiasts at Bearclaw Ranch present visitors with their multiactivity playground for outdoorsmen. Two-seat off-road go-karts let guests romp through the Central Florida wilds while helmets, shoulder-harness seatbelts, and heavy-duty roll cages enhance drivers' safety. For a piece of the action while on two feet, Bearclaw's hunting grounds abut protected lands along the St. Johns River and give trophy hunters a chance to stalk game such as osceola turkey and dove. The hunting staff maintains year-round food plots to supplement the diet of the area's deer, often resulting in large bucks that reach eight points and above and who are often recruited into the NBA. After exhausting the grounds' go-kart trails and hunting grounds, a visit to the ranch yields views of horses and 60 acres of pasture, where land can be rented for outdoor parties.

32200 Pine Road
Eustis,
FL
US

During the Backwoods Challenge, runners shimmy through a tunnel of mud, step across a balance beam, army-crawl under barbed wire, and shoot through a slide before plunging into a pond. And for some of them, there isn't even a prize on the line. In addition to frequent competitive races, Backwoods Challenge also hosts fun runs and mud-run training sessions. Either way, the 5K course, which pushes bodies and minds to the brink, forces participants to confront more than 25 obstacles that test their physical prowess. Only those who aren't afraid to get down and dirty in the mud can conquer all of the manmade and natural obstacles.

16000 Rockridge Road
Polk City,
FL
US